BBC Newsround apologises to Caabu for inaccurate report on Gaza, edits video report

Posted by on 06 Dec 2012

BBC Newsround has apologised to Caabu after it submitted a complaint highlighting severe factual inaccuracies in a video report broadcast on 21 November. The video report has now been edited.

Caabu’s complaint originally alleged:

  • The piece argues that in the 1948 war “Israel lost land to Egypt and Jordan.” This is inaccurate. In fact, by the end of the 1948 war Israel had expanded well beyond the borders set out in the United Nations partition plan of 1947. Under this plan, neither the West Bank or Gaza were ever in jurisdiction of the new Israeli state and so it is incorrect to say that Israel ‘lost’ this land.
  • The video says that in the war of 1967 Israel found itself “back in control” of the West Bank and Gaza. This is factually inaccurate, since Israel had never been in control of these areas.
  • The piece refers to “Muslim Palestinians”. This is factually inaccurate. It ignores the existence of many Christian and Jewish Palestinians who also inhabited the area of Palestine for many centuries.

In response, Owenna Griffiths, Editor of Newsround:

“Let me first respond to what I see as the key aspect of your complaint - the factual inaccuracy you described in your points 3 & 7 when we said in our report that “Israel lost land to Egypt and Jordan.”

This was a factual mistake for which we apologise.

Our report has now been amended. Similarly, we have altered the piece with reference to point 7 so that it says “In 1967 another war left Israel in control of Gaza and the West Bank. To this day Israel remains in control of the West Bank. And although they left Gaza in 2005, they still remain in control of who and what goes in and out.”

"On reflection we have also altered the original phrase ‘Muslim Palestinians’ to ‘Palestinian Arabs’ (your point 2)."

 

Caabu is grateful for this response and the acknowledgement that there were factual inaccuracies which have now been corrected. There is a fundamental obligation on the BBC to produce fair and accurate reporting. In our view this is even more the case when producing programming for children.

Read the original complaint in full here.

Read the BBC response in full here.